Goals of real wonder from Josko Gvardiol and Mislav Orsic meant the runners-up from four years ago in Russia finished this campaign on a high.
World Cup 2022 Highlights – Croatia 2-1 Morocco – Luka Modric signed off his World Cup career with a bronze medal after the victory against Morocco.
World Cup 2022 Highlights – Croatia 2-1 Morocco
The game for World Cup 2022 third-place was Modric very final one for his country, and it ended on a high note.
The 2018 Runner-up played to win, and Gvardiol early goal was a statement at Khalifa International Stadium.
The 20-year-old centre-back gave a super header into the left corner after Lovro Majer’s free-kick into the penalty area was skillfully nodded towards the penalty spot by Ivan Perisic.
World Cup 2022 dark horse Morocco were level just 112 seconds minutes later. It was also a set-piece with a little help from Croatia’s Majer.
Dari applied a close-range finish with his head after Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick from the right flank was sent looping up by a heavy touch off Majer.
The winning moment
Yassine Bounou was solid as he helped the African side stood still, even with a low strike from Modric later.
However, the strike from Orsic in the 42nd minute was too good for Bounou to save. Orsic curved the ball from 20 years over the goalkeeper from just inside the left edge of the penalty area, the shot going in off the far post.
Morocco pressed to find another equalizer and there were moments it almost came.
Youssef En-Nesyri was denied a close range by Livakovic only minutes before his last-minute header just over the bar.
They were left to settle for fourth, still a huge achievement.
End of an era
Croatia is now another European team to win the third-place playoff.
Brazil’s 2-1 win over Italy in 1978 being the last time a team from another continent took the honours.
Real Madrid Modric played his 19th and last game of the elite tournament, he became the first outfield player aged 37 or over to play in more than six games in a single World Cup.
– Croatia have only lost two of their 14 total matches across the last two World Cup tournaments (W6 D6): versus France in the 2018 final (2-4) and Argentina in this year’s semi-final (0-3).
– Morocco’s two defeats at the 2022 World Cup came in the matches where they had their two highest possession figures of the tournament (61 per cent v France and 49 per cent v Croatia).
– Prior to these two matches, Morocco had averaged just 31 per cent possession and gone unbeaten in five games (W3 D2).
– Croatia drew 0-0 with Morocco on MD1, before beating them in this match – it was just the third instance this century of a team facing an opponent twice in the same World Cup tournament without losing either match, after Brazil in 2002 (v Turkey) and Belgium in 2018 (v England).
– This was the first match of the 2022 World Cup to see both teams score inside the first 10 minutes of play.
After the World Cup would be Euro, with Croatia facing Wales and Turkey in their opening games.
Morocco’s next priority will be to earn a place at the Africa Cup of Nations facing South Africa in the next qualifier scheduled for June.
As we wait for 18 December, let us go through this matchup with a fine-tooth comb and dissect every detail to give you the best World Cup betting tips.